why I don’t apologise for my messy house
For the past ten years I’ve apologised for my messy house on countless occasions.
It’s become such a common part of my repertoire that I spurt it out as though it’s a standard part of conversation; “It’s so nice to see you! Come in…apologies for the mess.”
More often than not the conversation then steers towards the relentless nature of washing and dishes and once again I find comfort in motherhood solidarity.
Lately my excuse has been a good one; a new baby and a messy house go hand-in-hand. But I wonder: why do I need to apologise in the first place? Is it my perfectionist tendencies or an ingrained belief that a house should be tidy before guests arrive?
A few weeks ago, when Lou (a fellow mum-of-four) came to visit, the house was in a dire state of disarray. I warned her about the mess but chose not to apologise and she got it – she’s pretty adept at stepping over toys and turning a blind eye. Perhaps what was most affirming was when she told me it was a relief for her to know that I was normal.
I’m so normal…the most normal. Very, very normal.
It’s time for me to really, truly accept that an ordered home is not something to strive towards every day because it so rarely comes to fruition. And when it does? It’s fleeting to say the least.
As for my need to apologise? It reached a new level of absurd this morning when I was driving Poet and her friend home. I almost apologised about the state of the house – to a child.
Why in the world do I feel the need to apologise to a five-year-old about our messy house? And more importantly, why do I think she would notice or care?
Am I setting a precedent that we can only open our home to guests when there’s no washing to be folded and a kitchen free of dishes? Am I teaching the children that this is a rule?
Yes! That’s exactly what I’m doing.
Granted there is a level of organisation that’s required to ensure I don’t get lost in a sea of clothes/toys/crayons/dishes/miscellany but there’s also a bar that needs to be lowered so I can be content with what is.
More letting go and less apologising. There’s balance in there, somewhere.